Welcome to the Week in Review.

1. Bearing The Cost Of Gene Therapies
A major milestone was reached earlier this month as 12-year-old Kendric from Washington, D.C. became the first patient living with sickle cell to begin a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved gene therapy with the potential to cure his disease. Sickle cell disease is a lifelong blood condition that affects 100,000 people in the United States and 20 million people worldwide — most of whom are Black and Brown. However, the newly approved sickle cell gene therapies, Lyfgenia and Casgevy, are currently priced at $3.1 million and $2.2 million per patient respectively. Such exorbitant launch prices will create unsustainable budget pressures for governments, insurers, and employers — and most critically will limit patient access to these treatments. While gene and cell therapies have the potential to transform medicine and patients’ lives, potentially offering cures for previously intractable diseases like sickle cell, and leukemia or lymphoma, there is an urgent need to find sustainable pricing models. These models must strike a balance between incentivizing innovation and improving access and affordability, because everyone deserves access to the medicines they need at prices they can afford. — (The New York TimesPress-TelegramX)

2. Public Awareness Of Relief From The Inflation Reduction Act Grows
KFF poll released this week highlights the growing awareness among older voters of the drug pricing provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act — which enjoys support from 71 percent of all voters. Between November 2023 and May 2024, the share of voters ages 65 or older who knew about Medicare’s authority to negotiate drug prices increased from 36 to 48 percent, those aware of the $35 monthly insulin copay cap increased from 45 to 52 percent, and those familiar with the $2,000 cap on out-of-pocket costs went up from 27 to 40 percent. Notably, a majority of voters across the political spectrum support extending certain provisions of the monumental drug price law to all adult patients with insurance, as well as increasing the number of drugs subject to Medicare negotiation. However, the reality remains that only 45 percent of Americans have heard about the drug price reforms in the Inflation Reduction Act, underscoring the ongoing need to ensure patients are not only aware of the benefits of the drug price provisions, but are able to access them. — (KFFThe Washington PostNavigator ResearchKFF)

P4ADNOW ON THE HILL: On Tuesday, May 21st at 10 a.m. P4ADNOW’s founder and cancer patient David Mitchell will testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee at a hearing titled “Ensuring Affordable & Accessible Medications: Examining Competition in the Prescription Drug Market.” In his testimony, David will highlight how drug companies use anti-competitive tactics and abuse loopholes in the patent system to prolong their monopolies on drugs, blocking competition and keeping prices high for patients. 

WATCH: Major drug companies have launched aggressive lawsuits seeking to dismantle the new Medicare negotiation program and regain their complete pricing power. P4AD’s Merith Basey joined RJ Eskow on “The Zero Hour” to talk about Big Pharma’s legal assault and the recent rulings in favor of patients.